When we were thinking about fostering again, the plan was to foster a low-maintenance dog. I’d told the adoption coordinator that very clearly. So, when I saw the photo and description of Bucky and called her and said I wanted to foster him, her only comment was: “He’s a puppy.” As in, not low maintenance. But it was too late…I’d already fallen for the guy, based on some very cute photos.
What was I thinking??? One forgets, between puppies, how much work they are. And a 10 month old puppy is extra work. When puppies hit about 7-8 months they turn into teenagers. If the puppy has been beautifully trained before that, he or she will promptly forget everything they have learned. Gracie’s favorite thing was to “forget” one cue each week. She no longer knew sit one week, stay the next, and on and on for a couple months. Bucky, however, hasn’t had any training so he has nothing to forget. He’s just an untrained teenager, low on impulse control, high on maintenance, and injured to boot.
When he saw my vet, on his arrival, she put him on some pain meds. She wanted his pain lessened to the point where Bucky would be more comfortable, but not soooo comfortable that he damaged himself further. I think we have hit the point where the pain meds have sunk it too deeply after a couple weeks on them, and Bucky is running around like a lunatic, jumping up and down on and off furniture, and racing up and down stairs, and all sorts of things we really don’t want him doing. He is also chasing cats, and in Gracie’s face all the time, which stresses her completely.
If he were a healthy puppy with all four legs functional, I’d walk the daylights of out of him, and get him chasing balls and other things to bring the energy level down, but those aren’t options with Bucky’s broken legs. After a particularly exasperating day today, I think we have a solution. (This dog really makes me put my thinking cap on!)
Bucky tolerates being crated to a point, but we need him to be walking on his legs now and after surgery, so crating all the time is a poor option for him. Instead, we have him on a tie-out, attached to the wall. He has 15 feet to move around in, and he is in the same space we occupy much of the time, a bed to relax on, and things to chew, and I think it may be what keeps us all sane for the next while. Gracie can get away from him easily, and the cats won’t get chased, and he can’t over-use his legs, particularly after surgery Thursday.
So far, Bucky seems to be okay with this compromise. He sleeps up on our room (in a crate) at night, which he likes, but when we need him to be calm during the day, this may be the solution for awhile. Stay tuned…and keep your paws crossed that he is comfortable enough with this set up so he can get through surgery safely, and we don’t lose our minds in the process.